Star Sportswear A-2 Project (Made By Greatest Generation Clothing Co.)

Discussion in 'Repros' started by Technonut2112, Jul 2, 2016.

  1. Technonut2112

    Technonut2112 Active Member

    Messages:
    147
    Location:
    West "By Gawd" Virginia, USA
    I posted this over at the 'Hat Place' as I see it called here, and thought it would be appreciated over here as well. ;)

    Well, with completion drawing near, I thought it's time to get a thread started on my latest A-2 jacket project.... Steve S http://www.vintageleatherjackets.org/members/steve-s.74/ (Greatest Generation Clothing Co.) has been hard at work crafting a nice Star Sportswear A-2 jacket reproduction for me. :)

    This all started awhile back, when I attempted to shrink-down a Good Wear Perry Sportswear A-2, made from the Indian goat which JC uses (dead-ringer of the type used on period originals). The jacket didn't shrink at all, despite being subjected to the hot water / hot dryer treatment I gave it, and also messed-up the finish somewhat. I have successfully shrunk-down quite a few leather jackets over the years, but the Perry just didn't cooperate. :(

    I contacted Steve to see if he could cut the jacket down a size or so. He was willing to take a look at it, so I sent it to him, only to find that the work, time, and cost involved wouldn't be worth the effort. I asked Steve if he was interested in the Perry, and if so, I would be willing to swap it for a Star A-2 repro. I knew he had patterns made from a Star that he had in, and I was pleased to find out that he was interested, and would make the jacket for me. :D

    Steve was fortunate to find that one of his leather suppliers had a suitable cow / steerhide around, and it was the only one in the appropriate weight / color available. AFAIK, another hide like it would be difficult to find, since the supplier had no tags or ID attached to it for re-stocking.

    I've always admired the Star Sportswear contract, especially the inset / rotated sleeves for less-restrictive arm-movement, and comfort. :) Steve went all-out, and ordered repro Star Sportswear labels to boot. :cool: The Star also will be sporting an original wartime Talon zipper, which I was happy to pay a little extra for. ;)

    Finishing touches are now being done, with only some perimeter stitching , and hardware to be installed. The Star should be on it's way to me on Tuesday (Damn Monday holidays :mad: :p) I will post further pics (including fit) after the jacket arrives. Here are some for now:

    It never ceases to amaze me that something like this:

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    Can be crafted into this: (I'm fairly certain the actual color of both leather and knits will be close to the pic below with the liner installed)

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    The cow / steerhide used looks to have excellent character, and should need no extra help to develop even better grain than the pics show. This is one I will just wear as-is to develop on it's own.. ;)

    Here are some more pics: (click to enlarge)

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    More to come............ :)
     
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  2. Technonut2112

    Technonut2112 Active Member

    Messages:
    147
    Location:
    West "By Gawd" Virginia, USA
    Interesting how much pocket flap variation there is within a small contract. I was initially concerned about the pocket flap scallops on this one. I based this primarily on seeing pics of JC's Star repro, but after looking at pics of quite a few originals, I think they're just fine. ;)

    Good Wear Star:

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    Various original Star pocket flap scallops:


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    And an ELC Star repro thrown-in for good measure:

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  3. Silver Surfer

    Silver Surfer Well-Known Member

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    1,749
    now were cookn. you are going to be one happy camper when ya get some wear time in on your new star.
     
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  4. Technonut2112

    Technonut2112 Active Member

    Messages:
    147
    Location:
    West "By Gawd" Virginia, USA
    Thanks! :) From what I'm seeing, Steve is doing one helluva nice job on the Star. Especially since I have the honor of receiving the first A-2 he has built from the ground up. ;) Just about all of my measurements lined-up perfectly with the Star pattern he made to boot, so, it should fit like a glove. :D

    TBH, I was hoping for pocket flaps like JC's Star, but Steve S did make his patterns directly from a Star, and they have enough scallop to satisfy me. :) I could always try wetting, and reshaping the flaps some, as I have successfully done on a few jackets in the past. ;)

    I WILL be stalking the mailman later this week for certain..
     
  5. Silver Surfer

    Silver Surfer Well-Known Member

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    1,749
    btw: nice dean avatar pic. it comes from a live tv dramatic production made in the 50s. my read on the the a-2 he is wearing in the pic is a goat [second contract] rough wear. also, dont go obsessive over the pocket flaps. rest assured that on originals, they varied from one jac to the next. not to mention, sometimes they were off kilter, slanted, and or one higher then the other.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2016
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  6. Silver Surfer

    Silver Surfer Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,749
    steve is some kinda genius, and you can take that to the bank. no bs.
     
  7. Technonut2112

    Technonut2112 Active Member

    Messages:
    147
    Location:
    West "By Gawd" Virginia, USA
    Thanks.. I've been a Dean fan since I was a kid. Actually, I 'borrowed' the pic from a site with an article about Perry Sportswear, so I assumed the jacket was a Perry.

    I've been a jacketholic for many years, and used to lurk here back in 07-08 or so. It's kind of difficult for me not to obsess over the devilish details at times, but you're right about the variations, even in the same contract runs. I just like JC's Star flaps for some reason, but this is Steve's take on the Star, using patterns he made from one, and is all good with me. :) He pulled my ass out of the fire, and did me a favor, since I probably would have had a hard time getting my cash back out of the GW Perry after my failed hot water / hot dryer treatment, and I'm grateful to be getting a brand new Star that will fit me well. ;)

    I agree that Steve is talented as well. I also purchased an AN-J-3 from him awhile back. There were a few quirks with it, and after a good effort by him to make alterations, it still wasn't quite right to me, and being the stand-up guy he is regarding customer satisfaction, agreed to do a remake, which will be coming along right after the Star goes out (hopefully) tomorrow.

    I was allowed to choose a new Indian goatskin he received, and he is even including an NOS Talon, and nice brick-red rib-rack knits, which he only has a few sets left from his stash that took literary years to have made for him. He's one helluva nice guy. :) Don't get me wrong, the AN's build and quality was top-shelf.. It was just quirks in the fit, and other small things that may not have bothered other folks much.. Just a jacketholic like me.. ;)
     
  8. Technonut2112

    Technonut2112 Active Member

    Messages:
    147
    Location:
    West "By Gawd" Virginia, USA
    Hot off the press! Just received these pics from Steve of the completed Star... The first words I typed in my reply were HOLY SHIT!!.. :D I'll let the pics do the talking since I'm short on words ATM. ;)

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  9. CBI

    CBI Well-Known Member

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    3,212
    nice - looking forward to pics when worn - congrats!
     
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  10. Steve27752

    Steve27752 Active Member

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    905
    Location:
    Berkshire, U.K.
    Looks great, post more pics when it arrives.
     
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  11. Falcon_52

    Falcon_52 Member

    Messages:
    707
    Location:
    Iowa, U.S.A.
    Very nice. I like the slightly reddish color in the hide. That looks like a jacket that you could throw anything at and it would look better for it. Enjoy it!

    Noel
     
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  12. Technonut2112

    Technonut2112 Active Member

    Messages:
    147
    Location:
    West "By Gawd" Virginia, USA
    Disengage mail-stalk mode, the Star arrived. :) IMO, Steve S did indeed make a Star. ;)

    The hide used has to be handled to truly appreciate it. VERY supple, and has a great leather smell. There is some nice grain going on here and there, which I will take pics of later to show. The leather weight is proper for an A-2. Not too thick and heavy like some repros out there, but not too thin either. :)

    The fit is bang-on to how I prefer my jackets. Steve S already had my measurements from an AN-J-3 he made for me, and I also sent him a nicely fitting leather jacket to go by. These pics were taken with the jacket right out of the box, so it needs to be worn to settle-down.

    I apologize for not showing much collar in the shots, but it is pushing 90 degrees F outside, and I am going to wait until it's cooler in the morning to get some better ones. I was roasting, and do not want to saturate the cotton liner with sweat. These pics should serve to get an idea of how it looks:

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    More to come... But I can say right-off-the-bat, that I am more than pleased with Steve's work, and publicly thank him for pulling my butt out of the fire by making the Star for me in exchange for the GW Perry I kinda botched-up by my attempt to shrink it with the hot water / hot dryer treatment. :)
     
  13. Silver Surfer

    Silver Surfer Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,749
    hahahaaha, i still dont get it about monkying around with a 1k+ jacket, by hwt and dryer abuse. ya do that kinda shit with a beater avirex or cooper, but a good wear? jeezelouise.
     
  14. Roughwear

    Roughwear Well-Known Member

    Steve has done a good job on this Star. The pocket flaps are spot on as is the collar. He has replicated most of the other details correctly. I'm not sure why the under arm vent rings are bear metal, but this is a minor detail. Here is a picture of my original size 44 Star being worn at Duxford 6 years ago. It is one of my longer (in the body) A2s.

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  15. Silver Surfer

    Silver Surfer Well-Known Member

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    1,749
    as a general rule, i have found that original stars were made a little longer then say dubows, rws, aeros. also, they were pretty trim, as against blousy. ya dun gud wit ya star. if ya fell ya have to, you can always carefully paint the vent rings, collar and pocket studs with one shot or rustolium enamel. now wear the bejesus out of it, tech.
     
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  16. Technonut2112

    Technonut2112 Active Member

    Messages:
    147
    Location:
    West "By Gawd" Virginia, USA
    Thank you. :) It's nice to hear positive comments from a serious collector such as yourself. VERY nice Star you have there. I have admired many of the jackets you have posted over the years, and have learned much about A-2's from your posts.

    I think Steve has done a good job as well. He is a talented individual for certain. I'm really looking forward to an AN-J-3 he will be starting for me this coming week. It will be in seal Indian goat, with red (brick) cotton lining and red (brick) rib-rack knits. The zipper will be a later 1940's Talon. ;)

    Thanks! I plan on wearing the hell out of the jacket after this fall, or any cool evening I may find until then. ;) I just may look into painting those pieces. What color should go for? I was thinking perhaps gunmetal if I can find it..
     
  17. Silver Surfer

    Silver Surfer Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,749
    gloss brown for the under arm grommets. gun metal or matte black for the collar and pocket studs. use a small camel hair pointed brush, and be be careful not to get paint on the liner or leather. tip? patience.
     
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  18. Silver Surfer

    Silver Surfer Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,749
    ps: before ya paint, give all surfaces a light brushing with #600 or#800 wet-dry emery cloth. this way, the paint will stick on the metal. no need for primer. just the paint.
     
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  19. Technonut2112

    Technonut2112 Active Member

    Messages:
    147
    Location:
    West "By Gawd" Virginia, USA
    Thanks for the info and tips. It will be a good project for a rainy day. :)
     
  20. Technonut2112

    Technonut2112 Active Member

    Messages:
    147
    Location:
    West "By Gawd" Virginia, USA
    Color me nuts (my handle is 'TechnoNUT' afterall o_O ), but yeah, I went and did it again, and I'm actually glad I did. ;) I just posted this in my thread at the 'Hat Place':

    The more I viewed my pics, the more I didn't quite like how the fit looked. The Star is supposed to be a trim jacket, with little to no blousing. I personally like my A-2's trim, hence, one of the reasons I swapped the GW Perry to begin with. As posted, I also didn't like the fullness in the jacket's upper arms. Today, I decided it was time to take action. ;)

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    To my eyes, the Star now looks 'right'.. and fits like a dream. :) Steve cut a great pattern, and constructed the jacket well. Sometimes, one just has to waterboard the SOB into submission if it doesn't cooperate. :cool: :eek: :D
     

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